Family Office

Rebranding MFO Takes Aim At Singapore, Australia

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 7 August 2018

Rebranding MFO Takes Aim At Singapore, Australia

An international multi-family office, which recently won backing from a Middle East-based group, sees strong opportunities in Singapore and Australia, a senior figure said.

LJ Partnership, the multi-family office which is rebranding to the name Alvarium Investments in 2019, aims to expand into Singapore and Australia to become a global player, one of its senior figures is quoted as saying. 

Partner and co-chairman Andrew Williams told the South China Morning Post that LJ Partnership wants to expand its Asian assets under management to $10 billion by 2021, from $1.5 billion today. A Middle East investor – the New York-based family office Dilmun – last month took a 40 per cent stake in the London-based wealth manager, as reported by WealthBriefingAsia and its sister news outlets.

“We want to reach the growth target for Asia-Pacific partly through opening new businesses in Australia and Singapore, and partly through acquisitions to build out our own in-house boutique investment capabilities that would include mergers and acquisitions, and subsequently private equity and technology,” Williams was quoted as saying.

As previously reported, the nine-year-old firm has appointed Ken Costa, the former chairman of Lazard International, global head of mergers and acquisitions at UBS and chairman of Europe, Middle East and Africa at UBS Investment Bank, and Ali Bouzarif, the former head of investment execution at the Qatar Investment Authority and former non-executive director of Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf (formerly Songbird Estates), American Express GBT, and Accor.

Costa also took on the role of co-chairman based in London, while Ali Bouzarif works out of the partnership’s new office on 5th Avenue in New York. Both act as executive board members.

LJ Partnership oversees more than £11 billion (around $15 billion) of assets for individuals, family offices, foundations and charities. LJ Partnership said its expansion is happening against a background of expected big shifts in wealth to groups such as millennials. In July it quoted a figure of more than $24 billion as likely to move between now and 2020.

The Peterson Group in Hong Kong will remain a shareholder in LJ Partnership, together with founding shareholders and management holding the balance of shares. Peterson, represented by Tony Yeung, will work with the new and existing partners. Co-chairman Andrew Williams (formerly CEO) is currently focused on driving the firm’s growth in Asia and Australasia, with new offices planned imminently for Singapore, Sydney, and Auckland.  Alexander de Meyer (formerly COO) has been appointed CEO and is based in London.  LJ Partnership employs 200 people at eight office locations across the world.
Offices are located in London, New York, Miami, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Geneva, Lisbon, and the Isle of Man.

Williams, who is based in Auckland, told the SCMP that LJ Partnership has invested US$50 million in New Zealand since 2017. In Australia, where it expects to be operational in 2019, Williams said LJ Partnership, plans to focus on senior secured financing to property developers, an area from which many banks have withdrawn in recent years because of regulatory reasons. Tony Yeung, a partner at LJ Partnership, says the company is also looking at expanding in China, the publication said.


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